Peru Andean Explorer – Machu Picchu and Titicaca EB04

10 Days From £0 (1,095 USD)

Join this classic tour which takes in many of the highlights of Southern Peru; colonial capital Lima, ancient Cusco city, Sacred Valley of the Incas, citadel of Machu Picchu and across the Altiplano to beautiful Lake Titicaca.

For full no obligation pricing options and operator contact details please enquire:

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Key Information

Travel Style: Private Tour, Fully Flexible
Start Location: Lima, Peru
End Location: Lima, Peru
Accommodation: Hotels
Period: All Year Round
Difficulty: Suitable for Most Travelers

About The Operator

Accreditations: ASTA Membership
Years In Business: 8

Tour Highlights

- Guided tour of colonial Lima, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
- Cusco city tour and surrounding sites, including Sacsayhuaman, Qenko and Tambo Machay.
- Full day excursion to the Sacred Valley of the Incas, including Pisaq Market and Ollantaytambo.
- Guided tour of the Inca citadel Machu Picchu.
- Inka Express bus across the altiplano via points of interest.
- Full day excursion to the Uros and Taquile Islands on Lake Titicaca.
- Tour of Sillustani funerary towers.

Description

A full day by day itinerary will be provided by the tour operator when you make an enquiry about this holiday.

Includes
- All tours with a qualified English-speaking professional guide.
- 9 Nights hotel accommodation including breakfast (3 to 5* options available).
- Train tickets to Machu Picchu (Standard, superior & luxury services available).
- All transfers.
- All entrance fees.
- 9 breakfasts and 3 lunches.

Excludes
- Flights Lima / Cusco & Juliaca / Lima (These can be included on request).
- International airfare to / from Peru and taxes.
- National departure taxes at airports.
- Other meals unless specifically stated in the Itinerary
- Personal expenses such as telephone bills, laundry expenses, beverages, etc.
- Travel Insurance covering theft, loss, illness, accidents and incidents outside our control..
- Baggage porterage and other extras not specified.

Notes
- Prices from: US$ 995 per person based on two sharing.
- Departures year round starting on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday or Saturday to fit with market days.
- 9 nights hotel accommodation. 3* to 5* luxury accommodation depending on your budget.
- Itineraries can be tailored to your requirements. Tours in private or shared group excursions to suit.

Prices per person, based on 2 people traveling - please submit an enquiry to receive a personalized itinerary and costs.

Itinerary
Day 01. Arrive Lima. On arrival in Lima you will be met at the airport and transferred to your hotel in the up-market neighborhood of Miraflores. Lima is located on the coastal desert strip between the Pacific Ocean and the Andes mountains. Founded in 1535, Peru’s capital is now a modern, bustling metropolis of eight million inhabitants. The colonial centre, which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, has many historic churches and buildings famed for their traditional intricate balconies. There are also several excellent archaeological museums. The rest of the day is free to relax, or explore the neighborhood of Miraflores with its parks, cinemas bars and cafes as well as many shopping opportunities.
Day 02. Lima city tour (B). Lima is the social and economic heart of Peru, and any visitor who just passes through the city on the way to Cusco is missing an essential part of the country. You will visit the beautiful colonial Cathedral, construction of which began in 1635 by Francisco Pizarro himself. He is said to have laid the first stone used in its construction and carried the first timbers used also. He personally inaugurated the Cathedral in 1640 although it has been extensively extended and improved since this date After the Cathedral you will visit the Convent and Church of San Francisco. The Church and Convent of San Francisco were constructed in the seventeenth century and are made up by the church and the convent of San Francisco, as well as of the chapels of the Solitude and the Miracle. The building is noted for its 17th century architecture, a fine example of Spanish Neoclassicism.
Day 03. Fly to Cusco, Cusco city tour & outlying sites (B). This morning we will transfer you to the airport for your flights to Cusco (approx 1 hour). On arrival in Cusco you will be met at the airport and transferred to your hotel. This afternoon we will collect you from your hotel for an extended tour of Cuzco and the Inca Sights nearby. You will be accompanied by a private qualified English speaking guide and driver. We start the tour at the Inca ruins of Tambomachay. This was an Inca sanctuary dedicated to the cult of water, and it was reserved for Inca Royalty. We then proceed to Puca Pucara (Quechua for red fortress). This is an Inca archaeological site located on the peak of a hill and is thought to be a military position and an administrative centre. Next you will visit Qenko; a sanctuary dedicated to the adoration of animals, and consists of ruins formed by rocks with stairs in a zigzag, and a main building similar to a circular amphitheatre where 19 window sills are located as a way of seats. We then proceed on to one of the most important Inca sites in South America, the enormous fortress of Sacsayhuamán. Cuzco was designed in the shape of a lying puma with Sacsayhuamán as its head. Its construction took over seven decades and required the work of approximately 20,000 men, both for the foundations and hewn stone works, the transportation of materials, carving and stone setting. Some of its external walls exceed 9 meters in height and 350 tons of weight. Cathedral - Cuzco We will next visit Cuzco Cathedral which is one of the finest Colonial Cathedrals in the Americas. Building started in 1560 and was completed in 1664. The facade has a Renaissance style, very ornamental, and it contains the best work of colonial goldsmiths and wood carvings, as well as a valuable collection of canvases from the Escuela Cusqueña (Academy of Cuzco). There are two auxiliary chapels on its both sides: Capilla Del Triunfo and Jesus and Maria y Jose. Finally we proceed to visit Coricancha, originally named Inti Qancha ('Temple of the Sun'). It was the most important temple in the Inca Empire, dedicated primarily to Inti, the Sun God and was one of the most revered and respected temples of the city of Cuzco, Peru. The walls and floors were once covered in sheets of solid gold, and the courtyard was filled with golden statues. Spanish reports tell of its opulence that was 'fabulous beyond belief'. The Church of Santo Domingo was built on the site, using the ruined foundations of the temple that was flattened by the Spanish in the 17th century, and is a fine example of where Inca stonework has been incorporated into the structure of a colonial building. This ends the extended Cuzco city tour whereupon we will return to your hotel.
Day 04. Full day excursion to the Sacred Valley of the Incas (B, L). Today you will take a tour of the Sacred Valley of the Incas. A buffet lunch is included. The tour visits the market town of Pisac. Pisac is a great place to buy local artifacts. There is a big artisans market here every Tuesday, Thursday and Sunday and many of the local craftsmen come in from the surrounding hills to sell their goods. We then proceed on to Ollantaytambo which is an attractive little town located at the western end of the Sacred Valley. The town has been built on top of original Inca foundations and is the best surviving example of Inca town planning. The town is located at the foot of some spectacular Inca ruins which protected the strategic entrance to the lower Urubamba Valley. The temple area is at the top of steep terracing which helped to provide excellent defenses. The tour then returns to Cusco and your hotel. Included: Cusco Tourist Ticket. Valid for 10 days, and known locally as BTC (Boleto Turistico del Cusco), the Tourist Ticket affords entrance to the following sites in and around the city: Sacsayhuaman National Park.- Sacsayhuaman, Qenqo, Pucapucara, Tambomachay; Pisaq, Ollantaytambo, Chinchero, Tipon, Pikillacta, Museo de Sitio de Qoricancha, Museo de Arte Contemporáneo, Centro Qosqo de Arte Nativo, Monumento al Inca Pachacutec, Convento de Santa Catalina, Museo de Arte Popular and the Museo Histórico Regional. We additionally include the cost of entry to Qoricancha Convent and the Cathedral.
Day 05. Train to Machu Picchu & overnight (B). Today we have an early start in order to catch the train to Machu Picchu. The train journey follows the Urubamba Valley with scenic views and photographic opportunities. On arrival in Aguas Calientes there is a spectacular 20-minute bus journey from the railway station in Aguas Calientes up to the ruins. You will enjoy a tour of Machu Picchu led by a qualified English speaking guide before having some free time to explore the site by yourselves. Your guide will lead you on a full exploration of the ruins - staircases, terraces, temples, palaces, towers, fountains and the famous sundial. After your tour and some free time return to the town of Aguas Calientes and your hotel for the night.
Day 06. Free morning or re-visit Machu Picchu (optional). Return train to Cusco (B). Following your stay, morning at leisure in Aguas Calientes or revisit the ruins. In Aguas Calientes you can visit the hot springs or choose to climb Puticusi Mountain for a different perspective on the site of Machu Picchu. A climb not for the faint-hearted! For those who wish to revisit Machu buses start at 05.30. Today you can enjoy the site at your leisure and see some of the sites that are not included in the standard one-day only tour, such as the Sun Gate and the Hanging Inca Bridge, or choose to climb Huayna Picchu, the ubiquitous peak that overlooks Machu Picchu. The views from here are stunning and afford fantastic and unique photo opportunities. The entrance fee and bus to the ruins and back for a second visit are payable locally. Afternoon departure of your train back to Cusco. You will be met at the train station and returned to your hotel.
Day 07. A free day in Cusco to see more of this fascinating city (B). Cusco –a UNESCO World Heritage site - is an architectural and cultural jewel of a city set in the South-eastern Andes. It is a fascinating mix of colonial churches, monasteries and convents, and extensive, pre-Columbian ruins. Almost every central street has remnants of Inca walls and much of this ancient stonework now serves as foundations for more modern dwellings. There is a great deal to see and do in Cusco and a free day to wander about some of the back streets, visit galleries, shops, churches and markets is often welcome. There are also a number of sites and museums on your ´Cusco Tourist Ticket´(included) that are not visited during tours which you may like to visit. These are: Museo de Sitio de Qoricancha, Museo de Arte Contemporáneo, Centro Qosqo de Arte Nativo, Monumento al Inca Pachacutec, Convento de Santa Catalina, Museo de Arte Popular & Museo Histórico Regional.
Day 08. Inka Express Bus across the Altiplano to the shores of Lake Titicaca (B, L). Today we will take you to the bus station in Cusco for your first-class bus to Puno. The first-class Inka Express Bus from Cusco to Puno is one of the most comfortable and safest bus rides in Peru. Lunch is included and the bus stops at various points of geographical and cultural interest along the way. Andahuaylillas: Referred to as the Andean Sistine Chapel because of its magnificent frescoes, the church is but one example of the mestizo baroque architecture typical of the Cusco School which was prominent in the 17th century. Raqchi: (or the temple of the God Wiracocha), this Inca temple is monumental: 100 meters in length, 26 meters in width and 14 meters in height. Divided into two naves, each of these still retains the base of eleven giant columns. Pukara: This is the most important and oldest ceremonial site this side of Tiahuanaco. Characterized by a series of raised platforms, the ruins also reveal some lito-sculptures and tombstones, all proof of a pre-Inca civilization. La Raya: The highest pass on the route between Cusco and Puno, La Raya is 4335 meters above sea level. Beautiful landscapes await you, as well as the animals that are symbolic of the Andes: llamas, alpacas and vicunas. You will finish your fantastic journey that same evening in Puno, where we will meet you at the bus station and take you to your hotel.
Day 09. Full day tour on Lake Titicaca (B, L). Today we have a full day visit to the incredible floating reed Uros Islands of Lake Titicaca and Taquile Island, one of the main islands on the lake. The Uros islands have a unique civilization of people living on them – there are no trees, and all of their houses and boats, etc. are made of knitted reeds. Lake Titicaca is a dazzling sight. Its deep azure waters seemingly extend forever across the altiplano, under the monstrously wide sky at an elevation of more than (3,820m/12,532 ft.). The lake covers more than 8,500 sq. km (3,315sq. miles); it is 176km (109 miles) long and 50km (31 miles) wide. Taquile, whose Quechua name some believe was Intika, was part of the Inca Empire and has a number of Inca ruins. The island was one of the last locations in Peru to capitulate to Spanish domination during the Spanish conquest of Peru. You will have lunch on Taquile, one of the three main islands on the lake. Around 1500 Quechua-speaking Indians continue to live in this remote community. The island, seven kilometres long, is devoid of roads and vehicles, and its terraced hills are scattered with pre-Inca ruins. The island itself is almost a living museum where the inhabitants wear traditional dress and are famed for their weaving and knitwear. Knitting on the island is primarily a man´s job!
Day 10. Visit Sillustani funerary towers & fly to Lima (B). Depart by private vehicle for Juliaca airport stopping en route to visit the impressive funerary towers at Sillustani. Sillustani is a pre-Inca burial ground on the shores of Lake Titicaca near Puno. The tombs, which are built above ground in tower-like structures called chullpas, are the vestiges of the Colla people, who were conquered by the Inca in the 1400s. The structures housed the remains of complete family groups, although they were probably limited to nobility. The architecture of the site is often considered more complex than typical Inca architecture. In contrast with the Inca, who used stones of varying shapes, the Colla used even rectangular edges. While chullpas are not unique to Sillustani and are found across the Altiplano, the site is considered the best and most preserved example of them. After your tour continue on to Juliaca airport from where you will fly to Lima in order to connect with your international flights.